Tag Archive: constitutional law

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The 9th Circuit and the Immigration Ban

Last week, the Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court’s temporary restraining order on the Trump administration’s travel ban. If you listen to some news outlets, you’ve probably heard this described as an activist decision by politically motivated judges. To those on the other side of the issue, this was a much needed check by the judiciary on a rogue executive. But for all the opinions being bandied about, it is important to understand what the Ninth Circuit’s decision actually did — and didn’t — do.

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What on Earth is an emolument?

Two and a half years into law school, I am still woefully ignorant of the U.S. Constitution. For example, I only recently found out about the Emoluments Clause. Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution says, “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” (In case you’re wondering, an emolument is generally defined as compensation for services or from employment or an office). Basically, the Clause is meant to prevent political office-holders from accepting gifts so that they aren’t improperly influenced by outside entities.

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Donald Trump, Defender of Constitutional Provisions Both Real and Imagined

Donald Trump met with Republican members of Congress last week in an effort to assuage any concerns they may have about his candidacy. In this meeting, they asked him if he’d defend Article I of the Constitution (which, of course, is the section of the Constitution that establishes the legislative branch, including Congress).

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Happy 5th of July!

I — as well as everyone else who doesn’t work for/with Satan — was reveling in the Independence Day spirit yesterday. Hence, no 4th of July blog post. However, now that it’s 5th of July and we’re back at school/work (meh), it’s time to contemplate the meaning of our proto-Brexit 240 years ago. Since this is a blog aimed largely at future lawyers, an exploration of the Constitution and the practice of Constitutional Law is germane.